The Most Common Causes Of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Rotator cuff injuries are very common and can caused by one traumatic injury or chronic wear and tear of tendon tissue. Identifying the cause of a rotator cuff tear is so important because it’ll help you prevent the injury from recurring after you heal. The cause of injury also helps to identify the best form of treatment for you.
Your rotator cuff is made up of four different muscles and tendons, all of which closely surround your shoulder joint. Most of the time, rotator cuff tears are caused by gradual wear and tear on tendons due to age or repetitive use. Certain factors can increase your risks, such as poor blood supply to the area. Smoking or other things that limit blood supply can cause tears to occur faster. A sudden trauma can cause a tear to occur to perfectly healthy bodies.
The 3 Causes Rotator Cuff Injuries:
-Acute injuries (one injury that never fully heals or a series of injuries that weaken tendons and supporting structures).
-One traumatic injury.
-Chronic overuse (ex: if you are a pitcher or participate in any sport or activity that requires repetitive movements).
Risk Factors For Rotator Cuff Injuries
Certain risk factors for rotator cuff injuries include:
Age: The older you are the more your risk goes up. The majority of rotator cuff tears occur in people 40 and older.
The sports you participate in: Certain sports put you at a greater risk, such as baseball, tennis and weightlifting.
Your job: Certain jobs increase your risk factors such as carpentry, or any job that requires a lot of repetitive arm motions.
Family history: Medical researchers think there might be a genetic component to rotator cuff injuries.
Acute Rotator Cuff Tear Vs. Chronic Rotator Cuff Tear
A chronic rotator cuff tear is typically the result of another injury that created structural issues within your shoulder and impacted the anatomy of the rotator cuff. For instance, bone spurs can protrude into muscles and tendons causing damaging inflammation. Pretty much any type of repetitive trauma to the muscle can lead to a tear. Chronic tears are common in people that play a certain sport that requires a lot of overhead activity, like baseball pitchers or tennis players. With a chronic tear, the pain is usually worse at night and can interfere with sleep. Without treatment, the arm gradually weakens and mobility of your arm decreases.
An acute rotator cuff tear develops from one sudden jolting movement of your arm against resistance, for instance if you stumble and use your shoulder to cushion the fall. Another example is lifting something that is too heavy. In most cases, this type of injury requires serious trauma to impact anyone under 30-years-old. It is most common in patients over 40. Rotator cuff injuries in younger crowds are usually related to chronic tears. Acute injuries develop slowly over time and then one day, for seemingly no reason at all, your shoulder starts to hurt and you don’t know why.
What About Tendinitis Of The Shoulder?
Tendinitis is a result of degeneration, or progressive wearing out of muscles and tendons over time, often associated with ageing. This is most common when the tendon attaches to the bone. This is often a result of poor blood flow, which means a mild injury will take longer to heal and may lead to a secondary tear in the process.
Rotator cuff tendinitis is more common in women between 35 and 50-years-old. Tendinitis of the shoulder causes a deep ache in the outer upper arm, just over the deltoid muscle. Your rotator cuff is more likely to tear if you have inflammation caused by tendinitis.
When Should I Go To The Doctor For A Rotator Cuff Injury?
You can try and heal your shoulder at home, using over the counter pain medications like Advil or Ibuprofen and getting plenty of rest. If the problem doesn’t seem to be getting any better, it’s important to visit the doctor as soon as possible. Some rotator cuff injuries require surgery, and surgical procedures can be time sensitive. Waiting or continuing to fight through the pain and use your shoulder will only increase the severity of your injury.
Are you experiencing shoulder pain? Visit Urgent Medical Center today and get on the road to recovery!